tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC March 29, 2011 1:00pm-2:00pm EDT
half a billion dollars and counting for the daily barrage of cruise missiles. >> what's the cost per tomahawk? >> i'll find out and get back to you. i want to say $1.5 million. >> that's my understanding, as well. and how many did we drop? >> 200. >> this hour, susan rice, u.s. ambassador to the united nations, senator joe lieberman. plus, nearly 30 years to the day since white house press secretary james brady was shot during assassination attempt on president ronald reagan. gun control advocates, jim and sarah brady are here for a rare live interview. >> caught fire. shot fire. >> followup, rawhide is okay? good day, i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. president obama says that the u.s. has done its job in libya and is reallyf trade hand over control to nato but tell take longer than he has said. nbc news has learned today that
the handover will not be tomorrow, more likely toward the end of the week. meanwhile, secretary of state hillary clinton is at a libya summit in london today. this morning, she met with an envoy to discuss the next steps. >> we cannot and must not attempt to impose our will on the people of libya, but we can and must stand with them as they determine their own destiny. >> today, a top nato commander said that international pressure will likely force gadhafi out. no sign of that yet. military forces are holding the line at gadhafi's hometown of sirte on the road to tripoli. and british prime minister david cameron says that gadhafi forces have launched a murderous attack on misratah. susan rice, ambassador to the united nations joins us now live from new york. ambassador, thank you so much for joining us. first of all, let's talk about this took misratah and the success of gadhafi forces again to beat back the rebel advance. what do you know from that, and
what does it tell us about how long this may take? >> well, obviously, andrea, the gadhafi regime is fighting to maintain control of sirte which is gadhafi's hometown. and a very strategic city on the road to tripoli. so it is to be expected that they will -- they will put up a very significant fight there. misratah is a horrible tragic situation. and this is an area where gadhafi has resorted to the worst kinds of horrific tactics taking out civilian installations, bombing hospitals, using human shields, and putting his heavy weapons and tanks right in the heart of the city where it's most difficult for coalition forces to reach without being engaged in the risk of civilian casualties. so the united states, the coalition, or the arab members of that coalition will continue
their vigorous efforts to protect civilians by maintaining the no-fly zone, by engaging in those actions, it may be necessys wdid ystda wi bts oshe that we shooting at misratah to defend the civilians and their security in those key cities without ourselves adding to the risk that they face. >> ambassador rice, senator lugar, women who lugar, is a leading voice on republican foreign affairs. has suggested in a statement just now that the president has still not clearly stated, this is senator lugar's words, what our goals are and what would constitute success. so the question to you is, what would constitute success? >> andrea, the goal is very clear. the arab league, the people of libya, the security council all agreed that the mission needs to be to protect civilians and to
institute and maintain a no-fly zone. both those things are now under way. and that is why the united states military mission will be largely handed off to nato and arab partners, and we will play a much reduced supporting role. now we also have national political objectives, separate in part from the international coalition and international community blessed effort to protect civilians. our national interests also entail a political transition in libya that cease gadhafi out and allow the libyan people to determine their own future peacefully. we're pursuing those goals through a variety of means, including nonmilitary means. most particularly by squeezing off his access to funds, to arms, to mercenaries by providing humanitarian and political support and other assistance to the opposition, and doing the very important work that secretary clinton was doing today in london, which is charting with our arab and
european partners and our african partners a path for a peaceful political transition in libya that will be manifest in the wake of gadhafi's departure. >> foreign secretary hague just said at a briefing following that summit that they did not discuss arming the rebels. do you think that the rebels need arms in order to survive the onslaught in misratah and elsewhere? >> well, andrea, i think there are clearly arms that they have available to them. there are arms that they're using. i can't give you a firsthand assessment of all of their needs. we have been engaged in initial discussions with the opposition, as secretary clinton did for the second time today in london. we have designated a senior diplomat who will be in affect our liaison. and those contacts will enable us to better assess what the humanitarian, the political and the other needs of the
opposition may be. >> ambassador, why not recognize the opposition as our european allies have? what is the drawback in recognizing them! >> fact, only two countries thus far have recognized. >> right. >> the opposition that -- france and qatar. we will look at that issue quite carefully. there are some very complicated legal aspects to it. i can tell you, both in terms of biteralecnionndh weaciner crioofheestaveofib that we wil continue to weigh. the important thing is that we arbenng to build a relationship, we're beginning to get to know who who these opposition leaders are, whatise take the time to assess all of those things before we make any very final and irrevocable
decisions beyond our military and political engagement. >> thank you very much, ambassador susan rice from the united nations, we thanks to you. and right now in london, secretary of state hillary clinton is briefing. let's watch. >> -- discussed the need for a political solution and transition in libya. and i reiterated the support of the united states on behalf of president obama for the legitimate aspirations of the libyan people and our commitment to helping them achieve those aspirations. i also had the opportunity to meet with both prime minister cameron and with foreign minister hague. i expressed the united states gratitude for the critical leadership that the united kingdom has shown in building an effective international response to the crisis in libya. we consulted on the way forward. the military, political and humanitarian dimensions. and we also discussed events and broader trends across the middle
east and north africa, and our jointests in afghanistan and pakistan. i had the opportunity also to consult with a number of other counterparts about libya. because today's conference is taking place at a moment of transition. as nato takes over as leader of the coalition mission, a mission in which the united states will continue to play an active supporting role. some of our coalition partners announced additional support and contributions today which we welcomed. in addition to our joint military efforts, we discussed the need for progress in libya along the lee nonmilitary tracks. first, delivering humanitarian assistance, second, pressuring and isolating the gadhafi regime through robust sanctions and other measures, and, third, supporting efforts by libyans to achieve the political changes that they are seeking.
we also agreed on a structure for decisionmaking going forward on both the military and political tracks. on the military side, we agreed that the north atlantic council with coalition partners fully at the table will be the sole provider of executive direction for nato operations. similar to the isaf approach in afghanistan. on the political side we agreed to establish a contact group to offer a systematic coordination mechanism and broad political guidance on the full range of efforts under resolutions 1970 and 1973. and as i'm sure you just heard from the prime minister of qatar. qatar has agreed to host the first meeting of the contact group along with the uk. in a series of side meetings, i also had the chance to discuss a number of issues including syria. i expressed our strong condemnation of the syrian government's brutal repression
of demonstrators, in particular the violence and killing of civilians in the hands of security forces. i also discussed efforts that e undertaken by the organization of the islamic conference, particularly our joint effort to pass a resolution at the human rights counc they promotes tolerance and respect as well as free expression. and we greatly appreciate the oic hosting a meeting of the international contact group on afghanistan and pakistan in jeda. i was also able to consult on a number of regional matters including of course libya with foreign ministers of turkey. so it was a full day for all of us. we came to london to speak with one voice in support of a transition that leads to a brighter future for the libyan people. i'm very pleased with the progress that we have made both
today and in the days preceding it. and grateful for everyone who participated in the conference and in the broader effort in libya. i think we are making a lot of progress together and we could not do it unless we were representing the brother-in-law community as we are. so with that, i'd be happy to take your questions. >> our first question is from andy quinn of reuters. >> madam secretary. in your meeting today with dr. djibril, i was wondering, were you able to make any concrete offers of assistance to them, either from turning over the $33 million from the libyan funds that have been frozen in the united states, or in discussing possible arms transfers, and told the senate today that the intelligence shows flickers, he called it, flickers of al qaeda in the libyan opposition. how great of concern is that and is that part of the u.s. debate over any particular arms transfers to the transitional council?
>> andy, first of all, we've not made any decision about arming the rebels or providing any arms transfers. so there has not been any -- any need to discuss that at this point. we did discuss nonlethal assistance. we discussed ways of trying to enable the transition national council to meet a lot of their financial needs and how we could do that through the international community given the challenges that sanctions pose but recognizing that they obviously are going to need funds to keep themselves going. we discussed a broad range of matters and certainly their presentation which some of you may have seen earlier today as to what kind of civil society and political structure they are trying to build in libya are
exactly in line with what they have consistently said were their goals. their commitment to democracy and to a very robust engagement with people from across the spectrum of libyans is i think appropriate. we do not have any specific information about specific dividuals om any organition who a part of th, but of course we're still tnsiol to t w a tialouilnd tat wl a sthcos. is from sam kohtz from "the times" in london. >> two things. first of all, is it your understanding that the u.n. resolution 1973 makes it illegal to supply arms to the libyan rebels, or do you think could
that be a sudden removal from that should it get on that? and secondly, it's quite striking when the rebels were talking earlier today, none of their names are public apart from -- and they clearly have access, quite a lot of power and access of funds through oil money. do you think that they should be more transparent in terms of declaring who they are, where they're from, what kind of groupings they come from and how they're using the money? >> well, as to the first question, it is our interpretation that 1973 amended or overrode the absolute prohibition of arms to anyone in libya. so that there could be legitimate transfer of arms if a country were to choose to do that. as i said, we have not made that decision at this time.
secondly, i do think that greater transparency will of course be expected and will be delivered. but i think you have to put this into context. i mean, this is a very fast evolving, but by no means, settled structure that they are trying to build. they also claim to have a number of people who are willing to work with them from central and western libya who for security reasons cannot yet be named. so i do think that this is a work in progress, and just as with respect to andy's question, we don't know as much as we would like to know and as much as we expect we will know. we're picking up information. a lot of contact is going on. not oly bouveme, b ma gerenhat a pt tcoitn. so we're building an understanding. but at this time, obviously it
is, as i say, a work in progress. >> jay from "wall street journal." >> thank you. i had a question regarding syria. over the weekend you gave an interview where you said how many members of congress viewed president assad as a reformer. is that your position? because you know there's been well-documented cases of syrian's support for terrorist groups, allegations that's pursued atomic weapons and some in congress said that syria actually poses a greater threat to the united states, its national security than libya does. is it the obama administration's position now that it can work with president assad to instigate -- or initiate some of the reforms that his people are clearly calling for? thank you. >> well, first, jay, as you rightly pointed out, i referenced opinions of others. i was not speaking either for myself or for the administration. we deplore the crackdown that is
throughout the last months to respect the rights of citizens, to allow people to protest peacefully, to work toward politicalnd economic reform that would be to the benefit of the syrian people. so there's no difference in how we view this than we have viewed the other incredibl sequence of actions that we've seen in north africa and in the middle east. and we hope that there is an opportunity for reform. we hope there's an opportunity for reform in all of these countries. we want to see peaceful transitions. we want to see democracies that represent the will of the people. so i think that we're like the syrian people, waiting and watching to see what comes from the syrian government. you know they dismissed the
cabinet today which resigned on mass. and as we said so many times before, we support the timely implementation of reforms that meet the demands that syrians are presenting to their government, such as immediately eliminating syria's state of emergency laws which has been in effect for a long time. it is up to the syrian government. it is up to the leadership starting with president bashir assad to prove that it can be responsive to the needs of its own people. so we're troubled by what we hear, but we're also going to continue to urge that the promise of reform which has been made over and over and over again and in which you reported on just a few months ago. i'm a reformer. i'm going to reform. and i've talked to members of congress and others about that, that we hear from the highest levels of leadership in syria, will actually be turned into
reality. that's what we're waiting and watching for. >> and the final question from duncan from "the daily telegraph telegraph." >> hi. i wondered how you'd view this situation in libya at the moment. there seems to be a bit of almost ping-pong going on, the rebels seem to be withdrawing from some areas today. how do you see this situation evolving in libya? how long do you see lasting? and if you're talking to gadhafi, what are his options? he can obviously try and stay or he can face the icc, but is there a third option where he could travel to another country? >> well, first, i think that what we are seeing in libya is a strengthening of the opposition, a consistent and very persistent effort by the opposition to try
to hold ground which they have had and to regain ground which they have lost. unfortunately, we are also seeing with gadhafi, a continuing pressure on the rebels, on his people. a willingness to use force. we have reports today of continuing military action by gadhafi's forces in misratah and elsewher so this is a volatile dynamic situation that is unfolding. we accomplished a lot in a very short period of time. we clearly believe, as president obama said last night, that we prevented a massacre in benghazi. that we were able to stop the military advance that was moving rapidly from west to east, and that we sent a clear message
through the international communities' willingness to enforce a no-fly zone and protect civilians that that kind of ruthless behavior by a leader toward his own people would not be tolerated. this has happened so quickly that we're now facing questions like the ones you ask, but i'm not sure that we know exactly when we will get to any change in attitude by gadhafi and those around him. as you know, there's a lot of reaching out that is occurring. a lot of conversations that are going on. and as the arab league has said, it is also obviously to everyone that gadhafi has lost the legitimacy to lead. so we believe he must go. we're working with the international community to try to achieve that outcome. he will have to make a decision, and that decision so far as we're aware has not yet been
made. you probably know that the secretary-general's special envoy will be going to tripoli and to benghazi. once again to urge gadhafi to implement a real cease-fire that is not going to be immediately breached by his own forces, to withdraw from those areas that he has taken by force, and to look for a political resolution which could include his leaving the country. so, all of this is in play. and many of the nations that were here in london today are working together to try to gather information to share the impressions each has with the conversations that are coming from tripoli and from those close gadhafi about what is or isn't being considered. so i expect to see things continue to move in a positive direction but i can't by any
means give you any sort of time line. that is just not sensible at this point. we don't have enough information to do that. >> thank you, all, very much. >> and as we've seen hillary clinton taking questions in london on the summit, the libya contact group that has now been organized, saying that they've not reached any agreement to arm the rebels. although she it is that that would not be precluded by the terms of the u.n. resolution. joining me now is senator joe lieberman, who chairs the homeland security committee and serves on the arms services commodity. senator, we've heard talk today that there are at least flickers of al qaeda elements in some of the opposition groups but not what we would call hard evidence, at least what we're hearing from those testifying on the hill. what is your understanding about who these opposition leaders are and whether or not a vacuum could be created where al qaeda and other elements could gain root? >> well, i think the best way to
make libya into a country where al qaeda could gain a foothold would be to to right a long-term stalemate of a civil war. so the best way to keep al qaeda out is for gadhafi to go and the libyan people to have a an to ectthr ngornnt eemfihts, the opposition to gadhafi have chosen to lead them and they're very reputable and i think trustworthy people. do we know everything about everybody in the opposition to gadhafi, no, we don't. but i thought that secretary clinton was right to the point just now when she said, we don't have any evidence of al qaeda or such groups actively being involved in the opposition of libya. and i tell you, my feeling is gadhafi's got to go and there's only one alternative to gadhafi, that's the opposition, the free libya movement. and it is that group that we should be supporting right now,
quickly. >> from what we -- all of the reporting from our own richard engel failure, eric schmidt in today's "new york times," massive military might that's brought in, the warhogs and others, the antitank artillery, clearly this has gone beyond just protecting civilians, has it not? we're involved in a much more extensive military operation than the president and others have acknowledged. >> well, all of the -- what we're doing is certainly protecting civilians, but if anybody thought when they read that language in the united nations resolution, and it does say, take all necessary measures to protect the civilian population of libya. if anybody thought that would be a kind of passive defensive action, they were obviously wrong. and of course, i'm glad we're doing what we're doing. it may be for diplomatic reasons we're not describing it exactly, but the world could see what we're doing. we're striking at gadhafi's forces in a way that clears the
path for the opposition to gadhafi to make progresses they have. not only as the president said quite correctly to his credit last night, did the coalition and the now nato involvement stop a massacre in benghazi that definitely would have occurred. we've allowed the opposition forces to gadhafi to now move west in a very assertive way. but general carter hamm the american general heads our command has been in charge of all of our activities in libya and now turning over to nato said yesterday quite correctly that the progress that the opposition to gadhafi has made is significant, but fragile, but most of it has depended on the support from the air that the u.s. and our ally governments have given them. >> you're not suggesting that we should have ground forces involved? >> no i'm not. >> if this becomes a long
stalemate? >> no i'm not. i mean, are there ground forces in libya. it is the opposition forces. i do feel very strongly that we should join france and qatar and recognize the transitional national council, the free libya movement. and i also believe that we should arm them. in other words, they're anti-gadhafi boots on the ground but they're not very well armed or organized and i think that the world to protect the civilian population as the u.n. resolution said ought to better arm the opposition to gadhafi as quickly as possible. >> thank you very much, senator joe lieberman. >> thank you, dr. rit now esident oba onis wayo n yko diteheew u.s ssnt e utenaio. and attend a pair of democratic national committee fund-raisers. here with me now nbc news chief white house correspondent chuck todd co-host of "the daily rundown," and this week, anchor of "hardball" as well. >> double duty. >> or triple duty.
>> yes. >> wel hrd ongd from joe lieberman, and the other side of the spectrum, senator lugar's saying today, in response to the president's speech, what is the mission, what is the end game? the president's still right in the middle. >> it seems to be. that's a question that didn't get answered last night, and you could hear it in -- look, there was some criticism that was clearly partisan, and you could feel that it was almost mostly political. and then there are suddenly, lugar, who's been consistent on this point the whole time. >> and been an ally of the president. >> and on every other reform issue so he has more credibility. the white house takes him more seriously and then steny hoyer jumps out at me because the release was very factual. it just said, this is what happened. he gave a speech. glad that he stopped the humanitarian crisis. i look forward to more updates and more consulting. >> he's got a divided caucus. >> there is. and they know it and you could tell that they're speaking from that and frankly so does john
boehner. he was got their -- there are some -- you heard lindsey graham who appears to be frustrated with some of these republicans who -- maybe they're members of the d-parent caty caucus, maybe is not. how much is there going to cost? when he said hey, nobody was complaining when, quote oour watch. referring to republicans in the white house. nobody was complaining about costs then. let's be careful using that as a talking point. so both caucruses are divided o this. you know, the idea of politics taking place at same time that there's business of the government is something i'm sure somebody will make political hay of it. he's doing these interviews with brian williams. and so i have a feeling that everybody -- focuses on what he answers. because there were unanswered questions. i know brian was making note of those unanswered questions and so i'm sure that we'll get at
least some attempts of at least some answers tonight. >> we certainly will. chuck todd and more tonight on "hardball" as well. look ford that. thank you. and of course join chuck and savannah weekday mornings at 9:00 eastern for "the daily rundown" right here on msnbc. brian williams as we said sits down with president obama. see brian's interview tonight on "nbc nightly news" and check your local listings. [ groans ] [ marge ] psst. constipated? phillips' caplets use magnesium, an ingredient that works more naturally with your colon than stimulant laxatives, for effective relief of constipation without cramps.
you guys have nothing to worry about, right? aaah! [ all scream ] nice job, chocobeast! thank you. [ male announcer ] six indulgent layered desserts, at 150 calories or less. new temptations. it's the first jell-o that's just for adults. 30 years ago tomorrow the nation was rocked by an assassination attempt on president reagan 69 days into his president sy. john hinckley fired six shots as reag. as he was leaving a speech here in washington at 2: p on ble tckherede ncri h lg. another hit a metropolitan police officer. a third struck secret service agent tim mccarthy. the first bullet hit jim brady in the head. brady survived but never returned to white house duties.
since then, jim and sarah brady dedicated lives to sensible gun control laws. for a rare live interview, jim and sarah brady. great to see you both. sarah, you've been through your own travails, lung cancer. >> we have a lot of miracles in our lives. >> a lot of miracles. one miracle, of course, that day. think back, jim, 30 years ago, you were coming out of the hilt swnt bull hilton and the bullet struck you, you fought back all of this way living a vigorous life to the extent that you could. what are your thoughts back to that horrible day? >> fought is a good word, andrea. >> it's been a fight. it's been a struggle for the whole family. but when you think back to the effect of john hinckley, the way he was able to get that hand gun how does that inspire you to want to continue the campaign? you're going to be in congress
tomorrow, going office to office in the senate, trying to persuade people about gun control. >> th about what happened to congresswoman giffords, when you think about what she's going through what encouragement can you give her about the struggle back? >> there were so many similarities between the shooting of the congresswoman and my problem. >> sarah, it has been so extraordinarily difficult to get to the point where jim has an active life. i mean, it takes him a little long, as we know to speech. we remember jim brady, for those who weren't around 30 years ago, was the funniest, most aserbic
character on the campaign plain. he defined the reagan campaign for many of us. >> you know, he's still that way. >> i know he is. >> he's still just as funny and just as -- that's a wonderful word. >> not to mention funny looking. >> you're not funny looking not to us. we always called you bear. you were the bear on the campaign plain. >> i was. >> and all of those bears, teddy bears that were sent to you, the way that the nation turned out, it was heartbreaking at the time. it was scary. but now we know, from reporting, and we're going to have the author of the new book "raw hide down" and jerry par, the secret servant agent, they're going to be with us tomorrow, how close the president came. >> i know, no one realized that at the time. >> within a fraction of an inch, a hair breath. in the bullet had not first hit
the car door and ricocheted, it was a devastator bullet. >> it went in sideways, didn't it? >> it went in sideways. if it hadn't been nicked, explode inside, and that's what happened to jim. >> it exploded in his head, as well. and that was one of the things we worked on, to get rid of the devastator bullets. also kol la locate qualifily kn as cop killer bullets. >> what needs to be done today, as far as you're concerned? >> the worst thing we're facing now, the minute that gabby giffords was shot -- so many simt ale similarities -- i thought to myself, why is he able to shoot 30 shots? because we passed the assault weapon ban, which was also a ban on large capacity magazines back
in '95 or '96. but it sunsetted. >>expire. >> it was permitted to expire, and we saw the damage that was done, because he had the capability of getting a hold of this large capacity magazine. >> that is your main focus now? >> well -- >> assault weapon ban? >> yes. also strengthening the brady bill, we have to strengthen it. it needs tighter regulation. >> the gun show loophole. >> gun show loophole. states are not getting their information in as quickly as they should so that people with mental illnesses, especially, are not getting on the list. >> we've hear so many really truly miraculous reports on congresswoman giffords' recovery. yours was slower. and very challenging. and there are still setbacks,
jim's vision, for instance. >> yes, his vision now has gone, bless his heart. yes. it was a long, hard battle. i don't -- one reason i've not wanted to comment too much on hers, because every wouldn't is different. >> right. >> but i understand she's speaking more than 20 words right now and doing really, really well. i just know what a hard battle. if you remember in those days, every time jim was doing pretty well, something horrible would happen. he had pneumonia, he had blood clots, that could happen, happened. >> but it is a miracle. >> that was just plain luck. >> you know, jim, there were erroneous reports, a report that day that jim had died. and we know initially reports president reagan had not been hit and jerry parr's quick
response, the secret service agent in charge, to get him to the hospital rather than the white house saved his life. >> absolutely. i bet if it had been five more minutes, we might have lost the president. he lost so much of his blood. >> but you know, jim, it's your spirit. i still see the spark and your sense of humor, self deprecating as it is. you've fought on and it's just so valiant and so inspiring to all of the rest of us. you were the press secretary for all eight years. you carried that title and proudly. and we're still part of the reagan team, no matter what you were going through personally. >> that's correct. >> it's that inspiration that keeps you fighting. >> keeps me fighting. every time i feel down about something, the first thing i
think about is, look how my bear has fought. i'm certainly not going to let this little petty thing get me down. >> well, we are grateful to you for everything you do. we'll be watching you on capitol hill tomorrow, when you talk to the senators, and try to persuade them that the cause of what you call sensible gun control. >> yes. >> is important. >> it really is, andrea. and we just need them to step up to the bat and be courageous. we've got a lot of wimps up there right now. >> wimps because -- because you think that the national rifle association and the lobbyists against gun restrictions, i mean you're not talking about restricting hunting. >> no. >> you're not talking about right to take away firearms. >> no, all we're talking about is tightening up -- well, certainly getting rid of the large capacity magazines, because nobody needs those. when you go hunting, you're limited to five shots or three
sho shots. no, we're just after a very simple, common sense regulation. we've got to get those wimps to step up. >> those wimps don't know what they're about to face. >> that's for sure. wait until they see the bear. we're going to hit it again. >> thank you for visiting. >> thank you. >> we love seeing you still in action. 30 years after the only time that a president was shot and survived. thank you very much. >> thank you, andrea. >> thank you, andrea. >> to you. >> and leading women senators trying to protect military women victims of sexual assault, senator amy bloclowe bashar. uh, m in a timut because apparently
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take the lead. ask your doctor if including advair could help improve your lung function. get your first full prescription free and save on refills at advaircopd.com. i'm tamron hall. coming up on "news nation," following breaking news out of chicago right now. an unbelievable scene. 11 people hurt, 2 people in critical condition, after a shoot-out in the middle of the city streets. right now, police are bracing for a jump in violence, as the weather gets warmer. will it be another violent summer for that major chicago u.s. city. in today's gut check, how's this for a promotion? a radio shack store in montana giving away a free gun if you sign up for dish network satellite tv. the manager will join me live to
uniformed troops in the united states military go unreported or when reported not aggressively investigated according those involved. last year 3,158 reports filed but the pentagon says that's 14% to 13% of the tote. four senators introduces a bill to make it easier to safe for soldiers to file report of sexual assault. one senator leading the charge, minnesota democrat, amy klobuchar. this i an epidemic problem, as perhaps more women are in the military, maybe it's being reported more women are feeling empowered to report. it's usually women who are the victims here. >> well, thank you, andrea, for putting light on this important topic. unbelievable, you have over 3,000 claims last year, and the department of defense, which secretary gates is taking this on this year, making it easier for women to report, but one of the things that we found is that
these reports are not always preserved. if you went into a police station and you made a report of a rape, you'd figure that record would thereby forever. not true when it comes to various branchs of the military. we have a woman in minnesota assaulted, she vortreported it, few years later the guy was out, never prosecuted and preyed on two young girls. in her case the marine kept that record and they were able to use that in the trial. you have one soldier that may want records for themselves for disability purposes, and two, these records can be helpful in other prosecutions. it's from one to five years, it's all over the board. this bill that we introduced yesterday, two republican senators, mccau ski and collins, and senator mccaskill from myself, we did this. i don't think you want to mess with the four of us. we're hopeful, we're going to be able to get this done because our brave men and women serving
in the military should have every right to make these reports and have those records preserved. >> is it an accident that all four senators you mentioned are women? >> those happen to be the ones i went to, andrea. they just seemed to me as ones that one back down on the issue. but we welcome men on the bill. i did an event in minnesota with the disabled veterans of america, supporting this bill, a number of male veterans, and i know there are some men in the house taking this bill on as well. >> it's another argument for the sensitivity to issues that may not occur to men. when you first were talking about getting into the senate, back in the day when geraldine ferraro first nominated in 1984, i was talking to former vice president mondale about this, there was one woman senator. now there are 17. so what did ferraro's nomination, even in a candidacy that was not successful, what did that mean to young women
such as yourself, thinking of running for political office? >> i'll never forget that day. of course, there she was with walter mondale in minnesota, so it meant a lot to us in our state, he was the one that picked her for this monumental moment to be the first woman vice presidential candidate on a major ticket. remember, this is back in 1984, as you point out. there were at the time you've got women who are just going into the workplace. i remember i was wearing bow ties at that moment, my little summer clerk job. and there's geraldine ferraro and she made me believe anything and everything is possible. so for us, it was really an inspiration. you can see what a trailblazer she was, when you look at those changes from one woman in the senate that time to now, here we are with 17. >> 17 and as that book number of years ago, when it was 13, 13 and not enough, women who produced that book after hillary
clinton was elected in 2,000, we'll see what comes next. >> now they can call us sweet 16, we're over that barrier. >> good for that. thank you very much. >> okay. >> amy klobuchar. what political story will be making head leans in the next 24 hours? what do you think about president obama's address to the nation on libya? go to tv.msnbc.com and vote.eme. aren't absorbed properly unless taken with food. he recommended citracal. it's different -- it's calcium citrate, so it can be absorbed with or without food. trac.
which political tory will make headlines in the next 24 hour? msnbc contributor and manager of postpolitics.com chris cillizza joins us. the president has two finds rai fund ra-raise fund-raisers. >> kind of formalizing. two events, the first is a fund-raiser and i've talked to sources at dnc, we expect 1. 5 million to be raised at that event. the second one, interestingly, a
thank-you event. 250 people who have given to the president in substantial amounts before to say thank you for your donations and of course we need you to be on board in the future. all of this come as we've gotten a report out of "national journal" magazine the president is likely to form a re-election committee before the end of april. so we are seeing this thing begin in earnest now. it's going to force republican candidates who are waiting on the sidelines to get in or stay out. >> thank you very much. we'll see also what he does with his new campaign headquarters in chicago. that also coming up in the next couple of days. and that does it for us. thanks, chris. this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." tomorrow on the show, senator diane feinstein with the latest on libya and those nuclear plants in her home state of california. my colleague, tamron hall, has a look at what's next on "news nation." >> next now, in five minutes, president obama's due to arrive in new york for an event and series of network interviews
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